If you did not know any better, you would think it’s the Fourth of July.
But it’s December and the sky is exploding in spectacular colors over the Pacific Ocean in Manhattan Beach, CA. This is the annual Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks, an annual happening that is taking place Sunday, Dec. 12, in 2021.
Annually held on the second Sunday of December, it brings in several thousands of people from all over the Los Angeles, including pretty much everyone in the South Bay Beach Cities.
Joe’s Band, Packed Bars & House Parties
The festivities starts at 4 p.m., at the Pier with Santa’s arrival, Joe’s Band plays until 7, and then it’s the fireworks! Here’s the full schedule:
• 4 p.m. – Hyperion Outfall “Dixieland Christmas,” Santa Float & Sketchers Snow Park & Sled Hill and Mira Costa Carolers stroll downtown (until 6 p.m.)
• 5 p.m. – Mira Costa Jazz Ensemble
• 6-7 p.m.– Joe’s Band
• 7 p.m. – Fireworks
The Fireworks, The Scene & The People
All during the evening, there are people on the streets, on the Strand, standing on balconies of houses, in the beachside parking lots and even on the beach itself.
People treat it as an evening picnic under the stars. They come with blankets, beach chairs and coolers, picking a spot on the sloped street. Many arrive by foot, taking casual strolls through the neighborhood to arrive just past dusk.
Several of them are headed for house parties, and just about every place along The Strand has one, from small gatherings to big bashes. And yes, and you might could guess, this is one of the top singles party events of the year in the Beach Cities.
With many “young and single” people ready to mingle at all times in Manhattan, these house parties often lead to fireworks of another kind.
Even a shower and rain – rain, in L.A.!? – one year hardly damped the spirit(s) as the city went ahead and painted the Manhattan Beach sky with another spectacular show.
Several bars and restaurants downtown do a, well, booming business. Two bars face out to the shore – Shellback Tavern and Strand House – and are packed well before the show begins. Several other spots fill up afterward along Highland and MB Blvd.
Of course, there are many former partiers who now have families and come with strollers, as well as couples who use the occasion as an ideal romantic date.
The event caters to all. It starts at dusk with Christmas music at the pier, creating the festive atmosphere. With Christmas just around the corner, and many people headed back to visit families in snowy, cold climates, the Manhattan Beach Fireworks provide an ideal combination of the holiday and beach spirits.